Yonkers BID Gains Three New Board Members, Neuberger Welcomes New Director, Meet the Business Council’s New Communications Director



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Brittany Oat Serra

Hosting, tweeting, and YouTube video sharing abounds in Westchester, now that The Business Council of Westchester (BCW) has added Brittany Oat Serra of South Salem to its team as the new director of communications. She replaced Hillary Millman, who left to become a professional writer and found a communications strategy business. Serra previously worked as a TV news reporter and PR and social media specialist for Robin Leedy & Associates of Mount Kisco, where she created viral video campaigns for Conair, Softlips, and other health and beauty brands. Says Serra, “I have a genuine passion for using social media strategies to get results.” Adds Marsha Gordon, president and CEO of the BCW, “Serra will develop an innovative communications and social media program that will ultimately enhance the member experience.”

Serra has already taken over the BCW’s Facebook page, launched a YouTube channel for member interviews, and tweeted all BCW events. Her efforts are paying off and the weekly total reach of Facebook posts increased 97% and the number of people “talking about the page” (members posting likes and comments) went up 977%. “Now, the goal is to keep those numbers up and keep fans engaged,” Serra says.

The Neuberger Museum of Art at Purchase College added to its "collection" with the addition of Paola Morsiani as director, effective July 1. The museum is the 10th largest university art museum in the nation, and Morsiani will oversee all operations at the museum, including collections, acquisitions, and exhibitions decisions, working with the Friends of the Neuberger Museum of Art, donors, and the community at large. Neuberger, which has a collection of contemporary and African art, also provides educational programs to 20,000 students at all levels and areas of interest in the County. “My goal is to continue an invigorating exchange with students and faculty to strengthen the already flourishing cultural life of the campus,” says Morsiani.

Paola Morsiani

A native of Venice, Italy, Morsiani received her Laurea  in art history and history of criticism from the University of Padua in Italy, and a master’s degree in arts administration from New York University. She has worked at the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, and at various American museums and independently curated shows.
She replaces Thom Collins, who went on to be director of the Miami Art Museum.

The Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Mid-Westchester in Scarsdale announced the appointment of Michael Herz of Armonk as its chief financial officer, a newly created position. He will be managing the Center’s $8 million budget. FYI: Herz is an avid bowler and represented Team USA in the European Maccabi Games last summer in Vienna, Austria, where he won two gold medals.

NewBusinesses, Relocations, and Operations

A new restaurant and catering business recently opened in Yonkers in the Grand Roosevelt Ballroom of the historic Philipsburgh Building on Hudson Street. Called Nawab Eastern Cuisine, the restaurant serves a Chinese, Italian, Spanish, and Pakistani menu. The ballroom catering hall accommodates 400 people and the venue can host smaller groups in the upstairs gallery.

The Yonkers Downtown Waterfront Business Improvement District welcomed three new members to its Board: Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, Councilman Christopher Johnson, and Finance Commissioner John Liszewski.

Cary and Meryl Gabeler, Hastings mother/daughter entrepreneurs, just had their line of organic soaps and beauty products featured in O, the Oprah magazine. Their sales skyrocketed 300 percent in the first quarter and they credit their success in part to the Women’s Enterprise Development Center in White Plains, a nonprofit that provides business training. The Gabelers also received a $5,000 LEAP grant that funded the company’s booth at the New York International Gift Fair, where they made the contact with Oprah’s team.

Photo by Anjolie-Ayurveda

Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” will be speaking at WEDC’s upcoming event called “Women, Worth and Wealth.” (See the 914Datebook section below for details).

Mary Jane Denzer, owner of her eponymous 32-year old luxury women’s retailer in White Plains, announced that E. Ross Private Jewelers has set- up a boutique in her store, just in time forspring gala and wedding season. “My clientele has often asked us to help them make their jewelry purchases,” says Denzer, who can now provide one-stop shopping for special events. [photo]

Kudos

The Business Council of Westchester just released its Class of 2012 Rising Stars (professionals under 40). The Rising Stars program was established in 2004 and has recognized close to 360 exceptional young professionals to date. The 10-person steering committee is chaired by Timothy Donohue, senior associate at CB Richard Ellis, Inc. Donahue was himself a Rising Star in 2007.

Eric Creizman, a Scarsdale defense attorney specializing in white-collar crimes, was named a Rising Star by the Super Lawyers rating service, which provides an annual rating of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas. Creizman is principal attorney at Creizman LLC in White Plains and Manhattan. “People make mistakes and the balance of power and resources between the government and individuals is uneven,” he says. “Everyone deserves fair representation and the government sometimes needs to be kept in check.”

Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever, LLP of White Plains was selected by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell as one of the New York area’s top-ranked law firms. Firms are rated by their peers, based on professional ability and ethical standards. Says Joel S. Lever, a founding partner of the firm: “Our firm does not have to be physically located in Manhattan. We are able to maintain a broad-based legal practice of national and international transactions on behalf of a geographically diverse and sophisticated client base.”

Kevin M. Peters, a managing director at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s Purchase office, was named to Barron’s annual list of America’s Top 100 Financial Advisors. The list is based on assets under management, revenue produced for the firm, and service quality.

Biz Buzz

Richard Baum, managing partner of Consumer Growth Partners, a White Plains-based private equity firm, maintains that in 2012 “private equity may often be the most viable option for business owners who want to sell their company or raise outside capital. In 2011 alone, more than 1,000 market transactions were closed worth $250 billion. Baum and four other private equity gurus will be opening the private equity conversation to the general public on Friday, May 18 at Tappan Hill Mansion, at a breakfast sponsored by ACG New York, an association of dealmakers  (see 914Datebook section for details).

Says Baum: “A great private equity deal is one where a good management team remains in place; those are the hottest deals.”

You can now tweet and post your way to a new-and-improved Tappan Zee Bridge. An innovative social media campaign was launched in May by buildthebridgenowny.org, a statewide coalition of business leaders, construction professionals, trade and labor associations, and public safety officials. One of its goals is to keep Westchester and Rockland commuters informed about progress and issues. The awareness campaign consists of Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn pages, as well as the Twitter hashtag #buildthebridgenow. “We expect to reach one-thousand concerned citizens,” says George Drapeau, spokesperson for BuildtheBridgeNowNY.org.

HotProperties – 914INC.’s commercial real estate showcase

Property: Retail space near Yonkers waterfront [photo]

66 Main St
Yonkers

Brokered by:
Royal Properties, Inc.
Craig Benson 914.237.3403 x105
craig@royalpropertiesinc.com or
David Landes 914.237.3403 x104
david@royalpropertiesinc.com
Availability: 4,877 square feet (can subdivide)
Selling Points: Walking distance to train station. Major retailers and businesses nearby (Citibank, Chase, Key Bank, Verizon, Retro Fitness, X2O, CVS, and ShopRite)
Downside: Limited parking although municipal lot is across the street

 

914 Datebook

WEDNESDAY, 5/16
“Sing for Scholarships,” a fundraiser to help finance college students’ education, features Broadway star Christine Andreas. It begins at 6:30 pm at Abigail Kirsch at Tappan Hill Mansion. Contributions go towards Westchester Community College’s scholarship program. Tickets are $300. Call (914) 600-6558 or visit sunywcc.edu/aboutwcc/wcc_foundation/foundation_events.htm

THURSDAY, 5/17
A panel of experts will discuss “How the Coming Health Care Exchanges Can Impact Your Business” from 11:30 am to 2 pm at the Doubletree Hotel in Tarrytown by the Westchester County Association. Event sponsors are Compufit, Inc., Mahopac National Bank, and Mercy College. For details and to register, go to westchester.org.

FRIDAY, 5/18
A panel of private equity experts, moderated by Richard Baum, managing partner of Consumer Growth Partners of White Plains, will be taking businesses, bankers, consultants, lawyers, investors, and private equity professionals through “Private Equity 101: What You Knew, Forgot, and Can’t Ignore” from 7:30 am to 9:30 am at Tappan Hill Mansion in Tarrytown. Breakfast will be served. Topics include: “How are the private equity markets structured?”; “What criteria do PE investors use in evaluation?”; and “What can business owners expect from their PE investors?” $65 for members of ACG New York and $95 for non-members. RSVP at (212) 489-8700 x2 or at http://www.acg.org/nyc/events/event.aspx?F_d=05%2F18%2F2012&F_y=2012&F_m=5&EventId=3399&F_past=1

ArtsBash, a celebration of art and food featuring more than 20 artists and 30 restaurants, will be held at ArtsWestchester’s building located at 31 Mamaroneck Ave, White Plains. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased online at www.artsw.org/artbash  or by contacting Brittany Steinberg at (914) 428-4220 X328. All sales support the programs and services provided by ArtsWestchester.

TUESDAY, 5/22
Breakfast with Janet DiFiore, Westchester County District Attorney from 8 to 9:30am, as the Westchester County Association’s “Political Friday” moves to a Tuesday for this special event, sponsored by Paraco Gas. It will be held in the Executive Dining Room at 1133 Westchester Ave, White Plains. Register at westchester.org.

914INC. Magazine will honor Westchester’s savviest businessmen and business women under 30 at Don Coqui at 115 Cedar St in New Rochelle from 6 to 8 pm. For more info or to purchase tickets, visit http://www.cvent.com/events/2012-914-inc-magazine-wunderkinds-reception/event-summary-1b7ca16861b44b0eb5dd2c17c52fce6d.aspx

SUNDAY, 6/3
The Westchester Children’s Museum Explore-a-thon will include interactive and educational fun, such as balsa wood airplane flying, pop-up water park, wind tunnel, storytelling, and music. The event is being held to raise funds to construct the walls of the region's first children's museum. All are welcome; from 9 am to noon. Cost is $5 per person. If you would like to sponsor a family, please call (914) 421-5050 for more information. Rye Town Park (adjacent to the Boardwalk), Rye. To register go to https://www.discoverwcm.org/exploreathon/signup.cfm

MONDAY, 6/4
Scott Vaccaro, founder of Captain Lawrence, will speak before members of The Westchester County Association’s Young Professionals group. Location: Captain Lawrence Brewery, 444 Saw Mill River Rd, Elmsford. Registration limited to 100. Go to westchester.org/article.php?a=156

THURSDAY, 6/7
The Business Council of Westchester honors its 2012 Rising Stars, 40 professionals under 40 at MasterCard Worldwide at 2000 Purchase Street, Purchase from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm. Tickets to the awards presentation and cocktail reception are $50. Register by June 5 at http://events.westchesterny.org/sbaweb/events/events.asp?&id=1&wpid=-101&details=true&cale_id=540&newsession=FALSE&sid=324105290

MONDAY, 6/11
Guiding Eyes for the Blind's 35th Annual Golf Classic, will take place at the Mount Kisco Country Club, 10 Taylor Rd, Mount Kisco, 8:30 am to 8 pm. Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning will host the event, featuring some of the best blind golfers in the U.S. Details are at guidingeyes.org

THURSDAY, 6/14
Women, Worth & Wealth is the topic of the annual spring luncheon being held by the Women’s Enterprise Development Center at Tappan Hill Mansion in Tarrytown from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. Mika Brzezinski, co-host of Morning Joe and best-selling author. For sponsorship opportunities and information, call (914) 948 6098 x10.

Energy is a hot topic in New York State these days. Westchester Marriott on 670 White Plains Rd in Tarrytown is holding an Energy Symposium moderated by Roger Curtis, global energy systems manager, CB Richard Ellis from 7:30 am to 9:30 am.
The Blueprint for Westchester, an initiative of the Westchester County Association, will present “Meeting Demand: The Policy and Politics Behind New York’s Energy Outlook.” Register before June 13 at http://www.westchester.org/eventregister.php?event=160 or contact Laura Montopoli at lmontopoli@westchester.org or 914-948-6444.

MONDAY, 6/18
“Social Media Made Simple” is the topic of a workshop presented by the Yonkers Downtown Waterfront BID and Yonkers Partners in Education at the Riverfront Library at 1 Larkin Center in Yonkers from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Constant Contact local expert Nancy A. Shenker will also include a “bonus” section on how brands can use Pinterest to build awareness and sales. Register by calling the Yonkers Downtown BID office at 914.969.6660 or by emailing jardrey@yonkersdowntown.com

WEDNESDAY, 6/23
Legal Services of the Hudson Valley honors Jon A. Dorf, Esq. at the 2012 Equal Access to Justice Dinner at the V.I.P. Country Club at 600 Davenport Ave in New Rochelle at 6:00 pm. Tickets are $250 and can be purchased at http://www.lshv.org/index.php?id=62

MONDAY, 6/25
The 11th Annual Golf & Tennis Classic with NYS Senator Suzi Oppenheimer, benefiting Music Conservatory of Westchester’s need-based scholarship program, includes lunch, a cocktail reception, gourmet dinner with live entertainment, and a day of golf and tennis. Honorees are NYS Senator Suzi Oppenheimer and Broadway star Steven Schwartz. The event will be held at Whippoorwill Country Club in Armonk. Foursomes start at $2,400. For details, event schedule, and/or to participate, contact Chris Meyer at chris@musiced.org or call (914) 761-3900, or for more info visit musicconservatory.org

Do you have tips, scoop, or gossip concerning business in Westchester? If so, our new INComing blogger, Nancy, is all ears-please email her at 914incoming@gmail.com

Upcoming events should be submitted no later than Sunday, 5/20 to be included in the 6/5 edition.


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